Jung Hyeon Kim is known as the most prominent representative of young social entrepreneurs in Korea. Jung became interested in social business in his college years and Founded Delight in 2009 at the age of 24. Delight disrupts the status quo in the hearing aid market in South Korea through an indigenous technology that is less dependent on foreign components and direct sales to provide affordable devices for low-income, hearing-impaired citizens in particular. He is currently an active investor and supporter for junior Venture/social enterprises as the youngest professional angel investor accredited from South Korea. He is also a Co-Founder of ' Dreaming Ally,' an Art education organization for lower income families, and has relentlessly worked in various fields in order to effectively solve social problems both through direct and indirect investment for start-ups, whether commercial or nonprofit.
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- For-profit Social Enterprise
- Human Enhancement
- Republic of Korea
- Areas of Impact
- Korea & North Asia, Republic of Korea
The hearing aid market in South Korea is dominated by foreign manufacturers and domestic companies that import key components, assemble the device locally and distribute through local supply chains. Without access to the original production technology, domestic players are often unable to dictate the sales price or choice of supply partners.
Delight disrupts the status quo through an original and indigenous production technology that is less dependent on foreign components and direct sales through company-owned retail stores. This model has allowed the company to offer competitive market prices for its devices, often 50-70% lower than existing players. Delight has made the hearing aids accessible to the needy, particularly those with low incomes, by offering a sale price that is equal to the government subsidy for citizens with hearing problems. For those who are economically stable, which means they are not eligible for government subsidies, Delight offers the market price, thus ensuring overall financial sustainability in its business operations. Given indigenous design and production, the company has also been able to adapt the design of the product to be more suitable for Asian physical characteristics.
In 2014, Delight operated 19 stores in the country. In addition, Delight has entered into partnerships with Korean companies that purchase hearing aids and donate them to the elderly or children in need of hearing aids. For Delight, this serves as an additional revenue source and a means to increase access to its hearing aids. For the partner companies, it is an opportunity to exercise their corporate social responsibility. Delight’s focus now is on expanding its operations both within Korea and emerging markets, improving the product’s technology and securing capital for growth and expansion.